As the founding director, I'm pleased to present a progress report on the activities of the Australian Studies Institute during our first year.
The Institute was established to be one of the primary drivers of the University’s ‘Australia and the World’ program for Global Engagement. This was a reaffirmation of the University’s foundational mission to study the great challenges facing the globe from an Australian perspective. For 70+ years ANU has undertaken, and continues to produce, world-leading Australian and Australia-related comparative and transnational research across all disciplines. By promoting ANU research to audiences who may not otherwise see it, we aim to help generate national and global conversations. I believe we have taken great strides in fulfilling this role.
At the same time, the Institute has sought to play a national and international leadership role by providing support for those undertaking Australia-related research wherever they are. During our first year we have identified and reached out to more than 500 Centres, Institutes, networks and programs around Australia and across the globe, as well as close to 1500 individual researchers who have hitherto not been associated with a formal Centre or Institute. The response to our efforts has been extremely rewarding. As you will see, our social media accounts receive over 40,000 unique views each month and our regular e-Bulletins have close to a 50% open-rate (compared to an industry average of 17.7%). Our contact list grows organically on a weekly basis. We are delighted that others in the network now routinely ask us to help promote research and publicise conferences and workshops. What this means is that we are reaching the right audience.
Within ANU we have successfully implemented a range of programs to engage researchers across campus. The Vice Chancellor’s ‘Australia and the World’ Visiting Fellow program, for example, has already had an important impact. AuSI VC’s Fellows will continue to be invited each semester on a College-by-College basis to allow colleagues to identify world-leading scholars to join us in Canberra. In addition, We send and receive fellows; we host and participate in intensive workshops involving senior staff, mid-career researchers and higher-degree students across the University and have initiated cross-institutional projects which raise public awareness on topics crucial to our role global citizens. Our list of collaborators includes not only great universities but also leading national cultural institutions.
In sum, in our Year 1 Institute Report you will find evidence of the strength of the platform we have built in our first year. We have done this with the support of the University Executive, the Deans, our Advisory Board and colleagues across the university. And, it goes without saying, with the goodwill and support of our partners beyond it.
We've shown that we are open for business; the invitation to join us in national and global conversations is still open.
Professor Paul Pickering
ANU Australian Studies Institute